Unlike other days, today I will be writing about fitness instead of the usual tech stuff.
Losing weight can be a hard and frustrating task for most people especially when they are busy with work, school and other projects. Some of the reasons why people want to lose weight include;
- You want that new dress/t-shirt you saw on the store to fit nicely when you but it.
- You are planning to go on a vacation (summer break) and you want to look nice in your bikini/summer short.
- You want to be healthy and fit.
- You want to boost your self-confidence and esteem.
- You want to pick up that new girl that checked into your neighborhood recently :).
Whatever reason applies to you, it a good motivation to keep you going.
There is so much myth around losing weight on the internet and most of these methods do not provide results. You could be working out very hard every day of the week but no significant weight loss. In this blog I will explain what I did in order to **lose 5 kgs (11 pounds) ** of weight in 3 weeks.
Here are a couple of reason you are not losing weight
You're not working hard enough - You need to find out what works specifically for your body, this might mean working a little harder than someone else.
You’re eating too much - The basic principle of losing weight is that you need to consume less calories than you burn in a day. Again you don't want to eat too little because it's going to make your body retain the fat you want to burn (The body thinks it's running into a starvation mode).
You’re not taking time to recover - This is caused by over training and doing too much cardio. You want to have a well scheduled workout timetable.
Your body is under too much stress - When your body is stressed (e.g. Not getting enough sleep) it prevents you from losing weight.
You have very high expectations - Losing weight is not like magic. Don't set very high goals especially when you are a beginner, it takes time for your body to adapt
- There are other minor things such as observing micro nutrients but I will leave that for another day.
I used Intermittent Fasting for a period of 3 weeks (22nd Jan - 13th Feb).
Intermittent Fasting is a term for an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating. It does not say anything about which foods you should eat, but rather when you should eat them. The popular methods include 16/8 and 18/6 where you fast for 16 hrs. and 18 hrs. respectively. This affects your cells and hormones making stored fats more accessible. By lowering the insulin levels you are able to burn more of the stored body fat. By helping you eat less (fewer calories in) and helping you burn more (more calories out), intermittent fasting causes weight loss by changing both sides of the calorie equation.
key things to note
- During the 3 weeks period, I went to the gym 4 times a week spending an average of 1.5 hrs.. per session.
- Three sessions included 5 minutes cardio at the beginning to warm up followed by weight lifting and finishing with 5-10 minutes of high intensity interval training (HIIT) cardio.
- One session was 1 hour of aerobics
- I used 18/6 method eating between the 6 hrs. period mostly after my workout. Do not start with this intensity if you are a beginner, it will make you feel crazy and may cause health complications.
- During the 18 hrs. (Midnight to 6 pm), I did not take any food. I would only take water and sometimes coffee since it helps suppress the appetite. Coffee also gives you more energy - which can be hard to come by in your 18/16 hour window!
Do not add cream and sweeteners in your coffee otherwise it will spike up insulin and break your fat burning process.
- To easily adopt intermittent fasting, start by shortening the fasting period lets say for 12 hrs. and increase fasting hours as you get comfortable with it.
- In terms of food, try & eat clean food and reduce the amount of carbohydrates a little increase vegetables, fats & proteins. You want to have enough food during your eating window so you can even eat 3 times in 6 hours. The fact is you won't be able to consume much because your stomach shrinks.
- Your first meal should be something light (soup, yogurt, nuts, and eggs) and then follow it up later with your main meal (e.g. Rice & beef).
- Find a favorable day to have your cheat day. In my case on Sunday I would fast for around 12 hrs. then eat as much as I could within the 12 hrs. This refill gives you energy to start a new week strong. Don't feel guilty if you took pizza on this day :).
- You need to avoid soft drinks and alcohol during this period to get better results.
- All weight loss methods can cause muscle loss, which is why it is important to lift weights and keep protein intake high. You also want to make sure you are having enough food during your eating window.
- With intermittent fasting, you need commitment, discipline and consistency. The first 3 days will be very tough and all you'll be thinking about is food. Don't give up yet, you'll get to enjoy all of it at the end of the challenge.
- From experience, you start losing less weight as you progress with the fasting. To counter this, get back to normal eating cycle for a couple of days (I break for a week) and then continue with the fasting.
Common side effects while doing intermittent fasting.
Headaches - Most people get mild headaches every now and then, while others experience them throughout. What I did during that period was drinking enough water & staying hydrated all the time.
Low energy - Because of the prolonged fasting, glycogen in your muscles will be depleted making you feel week and sometimes dizzy.
Being uncomfortably full after eating - This happens mostly when you take a heavy meal to break your fast. Take smaller portions of food to avoid constipation.
Over-reliance on coffee - You might get addicted to taking a lot of coffee to suppress your appetite. Drinking a lot of caffeine can lead to poor sleeping habits, stress, and anxiety. I took more water instead of coffee.
Below is the transformation picture for the 3 weeks.
I'm not responsible if anything happens to you while trying out this weight loss method. You should first get an approval from your doctor. It is intense and might bring health problem if not supervised by an expert.
All the best in achieving your weight loss goals.
Drop your comments & questions below!